Vought OS2U Kingfisher Color Photographs Part I

Kingfisher_01_RA
A beautiful photograph of a formation of OS2U Kingfishers assigned to the USS Mississippi (BB-41). Like most USN floatplane types of the period, the floats of Kingfisher could be easily replaced by conventional fixed landing gear for operations ashore. The aircraft are BuNo 1714, 1715, and 1716. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)
Kingfisher_02__RA
Another aspect of one of Mississippi’s Kingfishers, showing off details of the Yellow Wings scheme. The blue tail indicates assignment to Battleship Division Three (BATDIV Three), the aircraft are from VO-3. The solid white nose indicating the lead aircraft of the second section. The Squadron’s insignia is visible on the fuselage just behind the pilot, “Oswald the Luck Rabbit” riding a bomb. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)
Kingfisher_03
Here is a rather worn looking Kingfisher in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme and the enhanced national markings authorized from 23DEC41 to 06MAY42. Modelers note the oil streaking on the cowling and the wear to the paint on the forward float strut. The side markings indicate an inshore patrol squadron.
Kingfisher_04_HG
An officer walks between rows of Kingfishers in the wheeled configuration in early 1942. The white blocks on the vertical tails cover the Bureau Numbers of the aircraft, this is likely a security measure – either tape before the picture was taken or the actions of a censor afterwards. (NASM Hans Groenhoff collection)
Kingfisher_05
This Kingfisher is maneuvering alongside a battleship to be recovered. The side code 5-O-7 allows for identification of the aircraft’s squadron and ship assignment. The code identifies Squadron (5), Type (O for Observation, and aircraft number. Observation Squadron Five was assigned to BATDIV Five, aircraft 5-O-7, 5-O-8, and 5-O-9 were assigned to the USS Texas, BB-35. (LIFE magazine photograph)
Kingfisher_06
Another Texas Kingfisher comes alongside. Note the individual aircraft number repeated on the upper wing surface. This was common among Navy aircraft to aid in spotting aircraft. (LIFE magazine photograph)
Kingfisher_07
This Kingfisher carries the national insignia style in use from August 1943. The pilot and observer are watching the aircraft’s approach to a recovery sled, which was a canvas panel towed behind the ship. The Kingfisher had a hook protruding from under the main float which would engage the sled allowing the aircraft to be hauled into the proper position and winched back aboard.
Kingfisher_08_USS_uincyCA71_Aug44
The fantail of the Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-71) with two of her Kingfishers warming their engines on their catapults. Quincy spent most of the war in the Atlantic Fleet, including supporting the invasion of Southern France and embarking President Roosevelt for a summit.
Kingfisher_09_ IowaBB61
Sailors posed in a 40 mm gun director tub on the fantail of the USS Iowa (BB-61) with one of the ship’s Kingfishers on the catapult behind. The Iowa class battleships typically carried two Kingfishers on the catapults ready for launch.
Kingfisher_10
A fine study of one of Texas’ Kingfishers. Considerable spray could be generated even in calm seas. The colorful markings were changed in May 1942, eliminating all red to avoid confusion with the Japanese Hinomaru.
Kingfisher_10B
The observer leans out of his cockpit as a Kingfisher comes alongside for recovery. One of the observer’s duties was to climb out onto the wing and secure the crane hook to the aircraft so it could be hoisted aboard.

7 thoughts on “Vought OS2U Kingfisher Color Photographs Part I

  1. What an interesting collection of paint schemes and various levels of wear. The yellow wings seem to be waxed to perfection while those in operations can be either pristine to well worn. Very interesting demonstration of how these can wear. Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for these, saved for reference for my old Airfix kit in my stash, or a wished for new mold. I fell in love with this aircraft when I got the Monogram kit as a birthday present when I was nine years old.
    I love seeing them in a wheeled configuration, something not often seen.

    Liked by 3 people

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